How long does it take for a film to reach cult status? It’s been over a decade since Marcus Van Bavel’s homemade sci-fi adventure Redboy 13 was unleashed, eventually going straight to video, despite getting good notices from The Village Voice (“Fabulous, ingenious”) and Time Out New York (“Kick ass… an epic!”). Will it only be a matter of time before the film is resurrected and restored to the cult pantheon? These original reviews seem to argue that Van Bavel’s opus is unfairly overlooked.
Marc Savlov of the Austin Chronicle has this to say:
Unlike anything you’ve seen and yet eerily familiar, Austinite van Bavel’s paean to childhood dreamtime and Ian Fleming-style Cold War theatrics is a minor masterpiece of the surreal, taking viewers to places they may not have visited since the last time they lodged an M-80 in Eagle-Eye G.I. Joe’s rucksack while mucking about in their parents’ backyard… From the opening James Bondian credit sequence (itself a triumph of the absurd), Redboy 13 is a low-budget gem, craftily using computer graphics in lieu of real devastation and managing to keep a straight face in the line of some of the most sublimely silly outbursts to grace the screen in some time. It may not be a cult movie yet, but that’s just a matter of time.
Merle Bertrand for Film Threat writes the following:
Every now and then, you’ll see a film where the filmmaker has more desire than talent; more guts than cash. A truly independent film like Marcus van Bavel’s so-goofy-ya-gotta-love it Redboy 13… You see, Redboy 13 is one of those rare films where it’s not so important how good the movie is, although it is at times outlandishly funny, as it is that it got made at all… This made-for-Cult-Status film, with its uneven acting, inconsistent pacing and simplistic storytelling, isn’t for everyone and certainly isn’t for those who only consume, er, enjoy, the typical slickly-produced Hollywood adventure film. But if you have a soft spot for stubborn DIY indies like this film’s spiritual godfather The Wizard of Speed and Time, then check out Redboy 13.
See if you agree; check out Redboy 13.